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Poster: HuaHinWharfRat Date: Oct 15, 2013 2:11am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: 2013 Beolab 24 bit remasters (get 'em while you can)

2013 Beolab 24 bit remasters of

Grateful Dead,
Anthem of the Sun,
Workingman's Dead,
American Beauty,
Wake of the Flood, &
Terrapin Station

are currently up on 'Yo ho ho and a bottle of rum'.

They sound 'graaaaaate'.

Maybe more to come.

Get 'em while you can.

Some 'spiel':

Notes on the re-mastering:

From David Glasser, Chief Grateful Dead Engineer, Airshow Mastering: ΓÇ£The Grateful Dead studio albums were mastered from the original master tapes in Airshow Studio C, Boulder, CO. Transfers were done at 192kHz / 24 Bit from an Ampex ATR with Plangent replay electronics to a Prism ADA-8XR A/D converter into a soundBlade workstation. The studio, designed by Sam Berkow, has Dunlavy SC-V loudspeakers driven by Ayre Acoustic amps.

For comparison I referenced the previous CD versions and original LPs. The goal was to remain faithful to the originals while at the same time extracting as much resolution and detail as possible using modern technology, and improving on the original releases, if possible. Some of the masters were transferred flat with no EQ or compression. (That is a testament to the mixing and production of the day; Terrapin Station, in particular, sounded spectacular right off the tape.) When needed, EQ was either a solid-state Prismsound MEA-2, API 5500, or newly manufactured Pultec EQM-1A3 tube equalizers. Very light compression from a Fairman TMC was used on 5 of the titles. No peak limiting was used on any of the masters with the exception of Built to Last, the only album that was originally mixed to a digital recorder (Sony 1630). All the dynamics of the master recordings have been retained. Several of the tape boxes contained the original LP EQ notes, and these were taken into consideration.

Plangent Processing, used so successfully on recent Grateful Dead live releases, was used on this project for speed correction and wow and flutter removal. (This made a huge difference, and I think should be considered for any archival release.) The ability to mitigate the mechanical shortcomings of the tape transports results in increased clarity and low-end solidity, stereo image stability, and a reduction of scrape-flutter induced distortion. You can hear this readily in the reverb of the a capella section toward the end of ΓÇ£Uncle JohnΓÇÖs BandΓÇ¥ from WorkingmanΓÇÖs Dead, the amazing detail on the guitar and harpsichord on ΓÇ£Mountains of the MoonΓÇ¥ from Aoxomoxoa, and the synthesizer section of ΓÇ£Unbroken ChainΓÇ¥ from Mars Hotel. Plangent Processing uses the latent bias signal on the tape as a speed reference. Because this signal is very high frequency (90kHz up to 450kHz, depending on the make and model of the recorder), special analysis equipment and wide-bandwidth replay electronics and heads are used for transfers and the speed-correction processing is applied at PlangentΓÇÖs lab in Massachusetts.

I remember hearing WorkingmanΓÇÖs Dead when it was released in 1970 ΓÇô my first real (and lasting) introduction to the band. Hearing these songs direct off the master tapes was a very special experience, and these 192k and 96k HD Tracks releases are really the closest thing to hearing the master tapes.ΓÇ¥

David Lemiuex, Grateful Dead Archivist on DVD-A versions and Remastered versions: ΓÇ£The newly re-mastered versions of all of the Grateful DeadΓÇÖs studio albums were all produced from the original analog master tapes in 2013, using the original album mixes. Unlike the recent HD Tracks releases of WorkingmanΓÇÖs Dead and American Beauty in 2012, which were taken from the 2001 Mickey Hart-produced remixes of those albums, these new HD Tracks re-masters are the original mixes of WorkingmanΓÇÖs Dead and American Beauty from 1970. Now, youΓÇÖll be able to hear both the 1970 original mixes and the 2001 remixes in high resolution.ΓÇ¥